Women in France work to raise awareness about domestic violence

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By Laurence Alexandrowicz
Women in France work to raise awareness about domestic violence

Enormous posters condemning violence against women line walls throughout major French cities.

The young activists putting up the signs have said that they are hoping to spread awareness about the violence in France.

"The goal is to inform about femicides, and we do this to honour all victims of femicide, and that all female victims of violence speak out and feel supported," one of the activists, Camille, told Euronews.

"The French government has been consulting on domestic violence solutions."

More than 130 women have been killed by a partner this year. In 2018, there were 121 femicides in France.

But experts say many women find it difficult to come forward and report situations of domestic abuse.

Karine suffered domestic abuse for four years before coming forward. She finally decided to report the violence after a brutal attack.

"At 5 am he jumped on me into the children's room, pulling my hair, throws me on the coffee table, then on the couch, strangling me... the children, especially the eldest, shouted, don't kill mommy, don't kill mommy," Karine said.

But in France, reporting doesn't always work.

At least one-third of the women killed in 2018 had previously filed a complaint with the police, according to a report by Le Monde newspaper. 

"In all police academies in France, victim support associations, specialists, forensic doctors, judicial authorities are involved to train all police officers to listen to the needs of these very specific victims," said Marion Tomei, a police chief in Lyon, France.

But there is a cause for hope.

Police say there has been an increase in incident reporting, a development that indicates more women are comfortable coming forward to report the violence.

Video editor • Thomas Duthois

Additional sources • Lauren Chadwick